If you have yet to listen to Adebisi Shank, you should do something about that very soon, says Steven Lydon
Most people have the impression that the majority of Irish bands are crap. This viewpoint is sadly perpetuated by the well-intentioned ramblings of Hotpress and Phantom FM. Adebisi Shank are Irish, but fortunately have nothing to do with acoustic guitars, J1 summers or stadium rock anthems. They’re also pretty damn good, and not only by national standards. We caught up with Dublin’s finest experimental dance-rock trio shortly after their return from touring Japan, where they, no doubt, had to tear themselves away from legions of adoring female fans. Bastards.
“I still find it strange that people like our music,” says guitarist Lars, “seeing as we write pretty much for ourselves first. We just try to have fun with it and hope that people can dance to it after.” There’s obviously a strong work ethic behind all this fun though – in addition to having Japanese and European tours under their belts they play regularly to a growing fan base across the country.
“Ireland is becoming a great place for instrumental bands. We get a much better response here and in Europe than we do in England. It’s also great to play to new crowds on tour, though it’s more of a challenge.” Sceptical of the large promotion companies based here, the band release and promote their material through the new Irish independent label The Richter Collective.
It seems like the band is picking up momentum on the back of the
“I still find it strange that people like our music, seeing as we write pretty much for ourselves first. We just try to have fun with it and hope that people can dance to it after.”
music and their live show alone, having gone criminally unmentioned by our own press. Adebisi court musical complexity without a hint of pretentiousness. This is achieved without needing to sacrifice the dance-ability so crucial to the success of bands like Foals and Battles today. Intricate guitar loops, time signature changes and jagged stop-start dynamics collide face first with dancing on tables, diving into the crowd, and lots of impassioned, sweaty rocking. It’s all totally absurd, and it’s glorious. “I’d say the songs are more intact on record, but I think it’s really important to have fun on stage and give a good performance. It’s what we’d like to see a band doing if we were watching.”
Adebisi Shank’s first album This is the Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank can be picked up in Dublin from Road Records, City Discs and other stores across the country. Make sure you give these guys a listen.